Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10th !

Remember your mother with the gift of a book this Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10th !

On this day we honor all mothers and express gratitude for all of the love, kindness and the sacrifices and hardships they endured in the process of raising a child.

Need an extra special gift for Mother's Day? Would you like to treat your Mom to a wonderful surprise? We have the perfect gift for you, a gift that lasts the year though.

MYSTERY-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB

With this club there is no single selection. Instead we collect a member profile and match it. The monthly selection can be tailored to any taste and budget. It can be a Paperback or a Hardcover. Can be monthly or bimonthly. In fact there are few limitations. Selections can be from the ranks of the traditional mystery or any other genre the recipient would prefer.

This club makes a terrific gift idea: once a month a book and shipping is charged to the giver’s card and the selection is then mailed to the recipient. While most often membership is a gift, some people enroll themselves into this premier club to get a regular, hand-picked, surprise treat!

Contact pat@poisonedpen.com or phone (888 560 9919) or (480 947-2974)
And if you need an easy way to get your mom the perfect gift we have gift cards too!

A good book makes a great gift and we have everything from Paperbacks to signed - first editions. Why send flowers when they wilt and die while a good book will last an entire lifetime?

Need a few suggestions?

Here is a lovely gift book:
Reichl, Ruth. Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way ($20 Signed)
The Indie Next Pick."Ruth Reichl does a wonderful job of showing us the person at the heart of her mother, Miriam Reichl, a woman who struggled against the constraints of 1950s American culture and who encouraged her daughter to enter a world that she herself so desperately wanted to belong to but could not access." Here is a perfect book for foodies and everyone else who appreciates Mom and her cooking (or maybe not!). My favorite book by food critic and editor of Gourmet Ruth Reichl is the story of how she got started in Comfort Me with Apples ($15) which is also brilliant on Paris and first love.

For Mother’s who love historical fiction:
Hardcover
Birkegaard, Mikkel. The Library of Shadows ($45 UK Signed)
Imagine that some people have the power to affect your thoughts and feelings when you read, or they read a book to you. They can seduce you with amazing stories, conjure up vividly imagined worlds, but also manipulate you into thinking exactly what they want you to. When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen. Jon has not seen his father for twenty years since the mysterious death of his mother. When Luca's death is followed by an arson attempt on the shop, Jon is forced to explore his family's past. Unbeknown to Jon, the bookshop has for years been hiding a remarkable secret. It is the meeting place of a society of booklovers and readers, who have maintained a tradition of immense power passed down from the days of the great library of ancient Alexandria. Now someone is trying to destroy them, and Jon finds himself in a fight for his life and those of his new friends.

Bowen, Rhys. In a Gilded Cage ($25 Signed)
Feisty PI Molly Murphy and the rest of NYC are deep into an influenza epidemic and the struggle for women's suffrage. Molly lands in jail and her fiancé, the NYPD's Captain Daniel Sullivan, hardly has time to bail her out. Just as well-only Molly could use jail time to get hired. One case involves an inheritance Emily Boswell believes her uncle has swiped; the other a charge of philandering that ends with the suspected adulterer's having a lovely, very young, very dead wife....

Cannell, Dorothy. She Shoots to Conquer ($27 Signed)
An Ellie Haskell Mystery.
On a dark and foggy night, charming amateur sleuth Ellie Haskell, her husband Ben, and her plucky sidekick Mrs. Malloy find themselves stranded at a grand estate on the Yorkshire moors. Lord Belfrey of Mucklesfeld Manor has decided to save his crumbling establishment by offering himself as the prize on a TV reality show titled "Here Comes the Bride."Thrilled at the prospect of marrying a lord, Mrs. Malloy eagerly joins the competition. After one of the potential brides is shot during an archery contest, Ellie begins to explore the dark passageways and hidden nooks of the delightfully Gothic estate-but she may not be prepared for the secrets lurking behind closed doors

Davis, Lindsey. Alexandria ($45 UK Signed)
Marcus Didius Falco and his family - a pregnant Helena Justina, two already hatched - arrive in the fabled Egyptian port where our informer Falco has an assignment from Emperor Vespasian. And before he can dig into it, there is a dinner which includes the library's director. And the very next day, Falco confronts...a body in the library. A tweak to the classic crime concept written with the verse and historical excellence you expect from Britain's Davis who comes to visit us on May 16.

Rabb, Jonathan. Shadow and Light ($28 Signed)
Patrick and I rave about this dark, dangerous, decadent story of Berlin, 1927, where Joseph Goebbels may be rising to power in the German Workers Party, An executive at Ufa film studios is found floating in his office bathtub (very dead), and Nikolai Hoffner, a chief inspector in the Kriminalpolizei is aided by director Fritz Land and crime syndicate leader Alby Pimm in a case that blossoms beyond cinema to sex and drugs.... See Hardboiled Crime.

Paperback
Dean, Rebecca. Palace Circle ($14)
"From London to Cairo, in the glittery world of high society before WWII, Dean taps into an exotic and distant world in her page-turning debut. Marvelous... Dean beautifully captures the mood and color of the era."
–Publishers Weekly

Shaffer, Mary Ann. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ($14)
A story written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, that won the hearts of reader across the country.

For the Literary Mom:
Hardcover
Agarwal, Shilpa. Haunting Bombay ($26)
After her mother's death crossing the border from Pakistan to India during Partition, baby Pinky was taken in by her grandmother, Maji, the matriarch of the powerful Mittal family. Now 13, Pinky lives with them in a bungalow on Bombay's Malabar Heights. While never accepted by her uncle's family, she has always had Maji's love. Then one day, as monsoons engulf the city, Pinky opens a mysteriously bolted door.... "In her stunning debut novel Shilpa Agarwal takes on the ghosts that bedevil young Pinky Mittal's extended family and dispatches them with rambunctious wit and affection. The result is like finely wrought mirror work, a glittering tapestry of vibrant contradictions, characters, and mysteries."-Aimee Liu, Flash House. Our April Surprise Me! Pick.

Walker, Martin. Bruno Chief of Police ($27 Signed)
My top recommendation this week for fans of the intelligent cozy. It is set in France and features a Police Chief to die for.... The litte village is mostly stirred by European Union regulations that affect stuff like marketing its cheese, but the murder of a longtime Arab resident challenges Bruno's policing and political skills. He's into community poliicing in the best sense: not so much a rule of law as abiding by a sense of justice.

Paperback
Caldwell, Joseph. Pig Did It ($14).
A staff favorite here, this funny first novel should send you rushing out for a DVD of Waking Ned Devine should you have missed that Irish village gem. The pub dart-playing scene; the frantic hiding of Declan's bones in the basement fiasco; the final wake scene; and the one ever present character: a pig. The oinker is at the center of the feuds of the four main characters and pivotal to the plot. Caudwell laces his story with beautiful descriptions of the lush Irish land and seascape.

Mortenson, Greg. Three Cups of Tea ($15)
Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

Smith, Alexander McCall. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency ($14)
'Everything about [McCall Smith] is appealing. He's just full of delight - it just bubbles out of him' SUNDAY HERALD * 'Indeed, the effort involved would have been justified by just one of them, THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY” -Gerald Kaufman, Chairman of the 1999 BOOKER Prize Jury *
“A rare pleasure” - DAILY TELEGRAPH “
“A publishing phenomenon” - GUARDIAN

Life on the Frontier:
Hardcover
Dallas, Sandra. Prayers for Sale ($27 Signed)
Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises "Prayers For Sale".

Estleman, Loren D. The Branch and the Scaffold ($27 Signed)
Although the career of Hanging Judge Isaiah Parker (1838-96) is not the stuff of humor, Estleman, that superb craftsman, delivers an exciting and funny view of a man who governed the vast Arkansas and Indian Territory (Oklahoma) from 1875 to his death-and paid a heavy personal price. No mystery other than into human nature, but a vivid adventure.

Paperback
Turner, Nancy. These is my Words ($15)
"A vivid picture of one woman’s true grit on the frontier." -- Dallas Morning News

"Incredibly vivid and real and almost as though everything had been found, complete in a box somewhere." -- The Washington Post

"These Is My Words is an entertaining...at times harrowing...reading experience." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Two from Tucson
Gunn, Elaizabeth. New River Blues ($29 Signed)
Now here is a real take-no-prisoner's book on every level. Tucson's Gunn remains one of our most underrated writers, superb at characterization, dark plots laced with humor that surprise and bring you tears, and a wizard stylist. And they move, those pages just turn. Now

Hayes, JM. Server Down ($25 Signed)
At a Yaqui Easter rite in Tucson, half-Cheyenne shaman Mad Dog finds himself framed for a policeman's murder, then chased by both the police and a cerebral contract killer through grungy parts of Tucson. Meanwhile, back in Benteen County, Kansas, his brother, the widowed Sheriff English, is coping with the usual crazies and proponents of an ethanol plant.

For the Cozy Moms:
Hardcover
Allbert, Susan Wittig. Wormwood ($25 Signed)
At the old Shaker community of Mount Zion for some R&R with her friend, Martha, there is much to admire in their peaceful lifestyle and their crafts, like their renowned furniture. But the restored modern version of the village, striving to become a popular tourist attraction, is plagued by misfortunes, some with the possibility of deliberate sabotage. And as China digs into Mt.Zion's archives and an old crime, we see that the community was never as peaceful as legend would have us believe-nor is it now.

Clark, Carol Higgins. Cursed ($25 Signed)
Back in LA from her new, very cold, home in NY, PI Regan Reilly is doing a favor for an old friend, Abigail Feene. Abigail is a woman living under a doomsday cloud like that Al Capp character Joe if you remember the L'il Abner cartoon series. Her name has 13 letters, she was born on a Friday the 13th, and the man she thought was the love of her life stole her life's savings. Regan agrees to help her get it back....Oops!

Simon, Clea. Probable Claws (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed).
"Music journalist Theda Krakow once again proves a feisty and determined sleuth in Simon's lively fourth cat-themed mystery (after 2007's Cries and Whiskers). Theda alternates between the cat world, dominated by her pet, Musetta, and the Boston area music scene, about which she writes for local magazines and newspapers. When her retired policeman boyfriend, Bill, buys into a successful club that's a cop hangout, Theda can't help feeling a little jealous, though she admits she also has a problem with Bill's attitude-he's too patronizing. Meanwhile, contaminated cat kibble at the animal shelter run by her friend Violet may be the work of a poisoner. When Theda, guided by blood on Musetta's paw, discovers Rachel, a shelter vet, lying on the treatment-room floor with a fatal stab wound, she gets arrested for Rachel's murder. Well-drawn characters, a plot with many strings to unravel and plenty of appealing cats make this another winner for Simon."-- PW.

Davidson, Diane Mott. Fatally Flaky ($26 Signed)
Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz encounters bridezilla-and murder. Aspen Meadow is no peaceful hamlet, ever. There seems to be a clever killer on the spa grounds, watching her every move. After what befell her godfather Jack who was attacked after his friend Doc is murdered, Goldy knows that she might be next. Catering weddings, and cooking low-fat food, could (literally) prove fatal...

Hart, Carolyn. Dare to Die ($25 Signed)
he arrival of a mysterious young woman rocks Annie and Max Darling's Broward Island where Annie's cherished Death on Demand bookstore is a legend. It turns out that troubled Iris once lived on this coastal isle. Her presence creates a downward spiral among the islanders, but Annie invites her to a party at the pavilion-whence Iris ends up strangled. PI Max and Annie find themselves in the middle of a conflict they don't understand. The only thing they know is... the culprit is one of their friends. "Hart's long-running Death on Demand series-this is book #19 -brings readers another superbly written mystery...Top-notch suspense and several red herrings keep readers guessing until the dramatic conclusion.." -Romantic Times

Paperback
Baxter, Cynthia. Too Rich and Too Dead ($7)
Have suitcase, will sleuth...
Mallory Marlowe, travel writer for the Good Life magazine, heads to Colorado to answer the question: Can nonskiers have fun in Aspen? It’s also a chance to visit a now rich and famous high-school classmate, Carly Cassidy Berman. Cheerleader, homecoming queen, and class president, Carly had it all then and still does—a sprawling mountainside home, an adoring husband, and a multimillion-dollar business centered around her super-exclusive Tavaci Springs spa. But not all is what it seems in Carly’s golden life, because within twenty-four hours of Mallory’s arrival, Carly’s corpse turns up in a mud bath.

Carlisle, Kate. Homicide in Hardcover ($7)
Murder is always a bestseller...first in the new bibliophile mystery series!
The streets of San Francisco would be lined with Hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.
With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safekeeping.

Cleland, Jane K. Deadly Appraisal ($7)
“A satisfying cozy debut . . . Readers will want to see more of [Josie].” —Publishers Weekly

“Antiques Roadshow fans and mystery lovers will delight in this erudite debut and hope for a series featuring the resourceful Josie.” —Kirkus Reviews

Dennison, Hannah. Scoop ($7)
Scoop! is second in this delightful series featuring a sleuth like no other...Obit writer, Vicky Hill suspects foul play when she learns of a suspicious death: a champion hedge cutter, electrocuted after accidentally slicing through a power cable. Yeah, right. To get the real story Vicky's willing to attend another village funeral and suffer through bad dates and mortal danger.

Grace, Margaret. Malice in Miniature ($8)
Dorothy Martin's husband, the illustrious Chief Constable Nesbitt, has long claimed that if the Olympics held an event for conclusion jumping, Dorothy would be a contender for the gold medal. Her bold American ways occasionally offend the Brits' proper sensibilities, but even her husband can't deny she has a nose(or perhaps the nosiness) for first-rate investigative work.

Kent, Rebecca. Finished Off ($7)
A little girl ghost wants to be reunited with her family. Pained, Headmistress Meredith Llewellyn investigates the child’s parents’ deaths, but she soon grows wary of snooping. For a lady never goes anywhere uninvited.

Sweeney, Leann. The Cat the Quilt and the Corpse ($7)
“A welcome new voice in mystery fiction.” (Jeff Abbott, bestselling author of Collision...and her brand new series about adorable cats that just can’t stay out of trouble is bound to be a hit!

Moms who Love Thrillers
Hardcover
Booth, Stephen. The Kill Call ($45 UK Signed)
A rainswept Derbyshire moor. The body of a well dressed man with a crushed head. A violent world of hunting and hunt saboteurs. And an ancient plague village where the Black Death visitation has been Disney-fied. Cops Fry and Cooper get it all in another atmospheric novel for fans of Reg Hill

Child, Lee. Gone Tomorrow ($43 UK signed)
“The ever-resourceful and vengeful Reacher takes on nearly a score of the bad guys in an exciting climax to an enthralling book…complete with cover-ups and numerous intriguing twists.”—Library Journal, starred review

Clark, Mary Higgins. Just Take My Heart ($26 Signed)
While Broadway star Natalie Raines and Jamie Evans were both struggling young actresses, Jamie had been involved with a mysterious married man to whom she referred only by nickname. Natalie comes face to face with him years later and inadvertently addresses him by it. A few days later, Natalie is found in her home in Closter, NJ, dying from a gunshot wound. The cops nail her ex, Aldrich, and young assistant prosecutor Emily Wallace draws a plum in being assigned the Aldrich trial. But wait....

Ifkovic, Ed. Lone Star ($25)
A First Mystery Pick features Edna Ferber as a bestseller come to Hollywood where she is on the set of Giant. Does she like what George Stevens and the cast are doing to her book? And what does she make of James Dean, that doomed young man burnished by fame-and brushing death? But it's not Dean who dies by another's hand.... I really like Ferber scholar Ifkovic's take on celebrity and how destructive it can be, just as true in 1956 as today, but more cloaked by the studios and the media. Rob and I got the DVD of Giant to watch; this book really brings it to life. Breaks your heart to think what befell Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor, and Dean. The Sal Mineo portrait by Ifkovic is startling. Jeffrey Deaver likes it: "A pure delight. . . . Whether you're a fan of classic films or you just love classy storytelling in which fiction flirts with fact, then Lone Star is for you."

Lackberg, Camilla. The Preacher ($40 UK Signed)
For the first time in English, the second psychological thriller from No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg. In the fishing community of Fjallbacka, life is remote, peaceful -- and for some, tragically short. Foul play was always suspected in the disappearance twenty years ago of two young holidaymakers in the area. Now a young boy out playing has confirmed this grim truth. Their remains, discovered with those of a fresh victim, send the town into shock. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom, expecting a baby with his girlfriend Erica, can only imagine what it is like to lose a child. When a second young girl goes missing, Hedstrom's attention focuses on the Hults, a feuding clan of misfits, relgious fanatics and criminals. The suspect list is long but time is short -- which of this family's dark secrets will provide the vital clue?

Moms Who Love Fantasy:
Hunt, Stephen. The Rise of the Iron Moon ($40 Signed)
But there's more to Purity Drake than meets the eye. And as Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-indestructible beasts serving an ancient evil with a terrible secret, it soon becomes clear that the Kingdom's only hope is a strange little orphan girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave from a land far, far away...

Snyder, Maria V.. Storm Glass (PBO $14 Signed)
In Book One of a new coming-of-age series, apprentice magician, ardent glassmaker and spunky Nancy Drew-style sleuth Opal Cowan discovers her latent mystical talents and wins the attention of three gorgeous hunks in Snyder's follow-up to her award-winning Study fantasy series (Poison Study, etc.).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sandra Dallas Signed Prayers for Sale


We have the new book from author Sandra Dallas Prayers for Sale signed first edition.

Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises "Prayers For Sale". Hennie doesn't sell prayers, never has, but there's something about the young woman that she's drawn to. The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed. Sandra Dallas has created an unforgettable tale of a friendship between two women, one with surprising twists and turns, and one that is ultimately a revelation of the finest parts of the human spirit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Signed UK Books from the Poisoned Pen

Booth, Stephen. Kill Call (Collins $45 Signed).

A rainswept Derbyshire moor. The body of a well dressed man with a crushed head. A violent world of hunting and hunt saboteurs. And an ancient plague village where the Black Death visitation has been Disney-fied. Cops Fry and Cooper get it all in another atmospheric novel for fans of Reg Hill - whose new Dalziel/Pascoe novel Midnight Fugue (Collins $32 Signed) publishes in May - and Peter Robinson. And here, CJ Box - and he arrives here June 16 with a new Joe Pickett case called Below Zero (Putnam $26).

Child, Lee. Gone Tomorrow (Transworld $43 Signed).

Jack Reacher shows some special survival skills on a big stage: New York City, quite a lot of it riding the underground rails. We have about a dozen left so don't delay ordering yours.


Gimenez, Mark. The Common Lawyer (LittleBrown UK $31 Signed).

A big mystery is why Texas lawyer Gimenez's fine novels are published in the UK but not the US. Here we get Andy Prescott, the most laid-back young lawyer in Austin, Texas. Into traffic law, he operates from a small room above a ramshackle tattoo parlor. He rides a trail bike and spends way too much time drinking beer in the sunshine...until one of Texas's wealthiest men walks into his office. On the spot, billionaire Russell Reeves retains Andy as his lawyer and, in exchange for some easy legal work, pays him more money than he has ever earned before. Andy's life is transformed. But nothing comes for free. Russell is a desperate man whose sole aim is to save his eight-year-old son, Zach, who is dying from leukemia. He is prepared to do anything for Zach....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maria V Snyder's Storm Glass


Maria V Snyder, author of the fantasy series
that began with the Poison Study has a new book, Storm Glass (Mira $14), first in a new series.

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

and
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 you can meet Maria V Snyder at 12:00 pm at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Susan Wittig Albert's new book Wormwood

Dont miss Susan Wittig Albert's new book, China Bayles #17, Wormwood (Berkley $27 Signed).

At the old Shaker community of Mount Zion for some R&R with her friend, Martha, there is much to admire in their peaceful lifestyle and their crafts, like their renowned furniture. But the restored modern version of the village, striving to become a popular tourist attraction, is plagued by misfortunes, some with the possibility of deliberate sabotage.
And as China digs into Mt.Zion's archives and an old crime, we see that the community was never as peaceful as legend would have us believe-nor is it now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Debut-Canadian writer, Alan Bradley whose hit The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie surprised us all (It is original, clever, entertaining and funny!) is going to be here to talk and sign his US edition on Wednesday, June 3.

Winner of the 2007 Crime Writers' Association Debut DaggerThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is "A delightfully dark English mystery, featuring precocious young sleuth Flavia de Luce and her eccentric family.

The summer of 1950 hasn't offered up anything out of thalane ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home's abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia's attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw: "I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life."

Did the stranger die of poisoning? There was a piece missing from Mrs. Mullet's custard pie, and none of the de Luces would have dared to eat the awful thing. Or could he have been killed by the family's loyal handyman, Dogger... or by the Colonel himself! At that moment, Flavia commits herself to solving the crime - even if it means keeping information from the village police, in order to protect her family. But then her father confesses to the crime, for the same reason, and it's up to Flavia to free him of suspicion. Only she has the ingenuity to follow the clues that reveal the victim's identity, and a conspiracy that reaches back into the de Luces' murky past.

A thoroughly entertaining romp of a novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is inventive and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that transcends the macabre seriousness of its subject."
- Random House

New take on Pride and Prejudice

Seth Grahame-Smith, . Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk $17 trade pbk).

I was getting ready to review this April drop-in title for the BookNews when this bulletin arrived. We can't give you first prints but put that aside and consider whether it would be fun to read. I bet it did lead at the outset into "skepticism in house" as nGrahame-Smithoted; I was hardly going to mention it. Read on....

"A tweaked version of Jane Austen's beloved classic--here flesh-eating undead monsters are thrown into the mix--the book has been defying expectations; Quirk is into its sixth printing after releasing the title on April 1 and has over 120,000 copies in print.

Quirk publicity manager Melissa Monachello, who said the house is scrambling to keep up with demand, admitted that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is somewhat unusual for the publisher. "This is the first time we've reworked a classic piece of literature," she said. "However, the irreverent nature of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fits into our list well."

The book--lovingly referred to in-house as P&P&Z--was the brainchild of editorial director Jason Rekulak. Rekulak said he's long enjoyed the online mash-ups that recast existing media into new entities, and cited examples like DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album (which melded Jay Z's Black Album with the Beatles' White Album) and the swath of recut movie trailers , popular on YouTube, which manipulate movie themes. Confident the mash-up model could work for books, Rekulak started brainstorming potential projects.

"I knew we had to limit ourselves to public domain works, so I started a list of classic titles, everything from Oliver Twist to War and Peace." Rekulak took his classic lit list and paired it with another list he had made, of "things" he could insert into the novels. The latter included everything from werewolves to monkies. When he connected Austen's classic with zombies, he said, he "just knew" it was a fit.

Rekulak brought the idea to Quirk author Seth Grahame-Smith, who immediately warmed to the project and, some two months later, handed in a manuscript. (Rekulak said his biggest concern in the editing process was ensuring that "zombie people wouldn't feel like there was too much Pride & Prejudice in there.") The final result is a work in which Austen's text is slyly subverted. For example, a scene in which Elizabeth announces she's going to walk to a neighboring estate--an abhorrent idea to her mother, as ladies of the era didn't do such things--takes on new meaning in Grahame-Smith's version because, as Rekulak noted, "zombies happen to crawling the countryside."
P&P&Z, decidedly a pet project for Rekulak, was originally met with skepticism in-house. "I got a lot of blank stares when I presented this book to our staff and sales department," he recalled. Still, fans responded--and quickly. The buzz for the book picked up after a blogger who'd gotten a leaked image of the cover, along with a back cover blurb, ran an item about it. Once the premise of the book hit the Internet, interest in the title spread virally.

The week before Comic-Con, in February, news about the book had hit more than 1,000 Web sites. As a result, on Amazon, the book's ranking jumped from in the high millions to 72. The early buzz was so intense that Rekulak got an offer from another publisher to buy the rights; that house warned, according to Rekulak, that Quirk was "too small to publish the book successfully." Quirk declined the offer and, instead, bumped the book's pub date from July to April.

Although other publishers may now release titles with other ghouls inserted into Penguin Classics, Rekulak is planning to do another literary mash-up. Ideas, unsurprisingly, have been pouring in from would-be authors. For Rekulak it's now a matter of sifting through the proposals, which, if nothing else, are amusing; so far he's seen everything from A Farewell to Arms and Legs to The Corpse of Monte Cristo to As I Lay Bleeding.

- PS. Patrick, Will and I (Lorri) are much amused and are waiting for our copies!

Read more here! LA Times

Probable Claws (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed).

Clea Simon has a new signed book, Probable Claws (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed).

"Music journalist Theda Krakow once again proves a feisty and determined sleuth in Simon's lively fourth cat-themed mystery (after 2007's Cries and Whiskers). Theda alternates between the cat world, dominated by her pet, Musetta, and the Boston area music scene, about which she writes for local magazines and newspapers. When her retired policeman boyfriend, Bill, buys into a successful club that's a cop hangout, Theda can't help feeling a little jealous, though she admits she also has a problem with Bill's attitude-he's too patronizing. Meanwhile, contaminated cat kibble at the animal shelter run by her friend Violet may be the work of a poisoner. When Theda, guided by blood on Musetta's paw, discovers Rachel, a shelter vet, lying on the treatment-room floor with a fatal stab wound, she gets arrested for Rachel's murder. Well-drawn characters, a plot with many strings to unravel and plenty of appealing cats make this another winner for Simon."-- PW.

Mew Is for Murder; Cattery Row; Cries and Whisker
s ($15 each).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jon Talton's The Pain Nurse


Fourth-generation Arizonan, Jon Talton, developed his writing style for over 20 years as a journalist working at newspapers in Denver, San Diego, Cincinnati, Charlotte and Phoenix.


Jon's columns have appeared in newspapers throughout North America and now he is back with a new mystery, The Pain Nurse.


Publisher's Weekly aptly remarks, "Talton's authentic depiction of hospital life lends heft, as do his searing descriptions of Borders's physical pain and mental anguish during recovery." It should since Talton wrote it tapping into his own horrible surgery for a spinal tumor.Talton likes this review from Kirkus: "A nurse who understands pain, a cop who's got plenty of it and a cold case turned hot mesh smoothly in the latest from Talton (Cactus Heart, 2007, etc.). Her friends know that, bright as she is, special nurse Cheryl Beth Wilson, an expert in pain medication, has a brain that can go woefully fuzzy. Take her senseless, joyless affair with Dr. Gary Nagle, the self-proclaimed golden boy of surgery at Cincinnati Memorial Hospital. For starters, it plunges Cheryl Beth into a rivalry with Christine Lustig, a powerhouse female doctor whose marriage to Nagle has ended but whose interest in him remains. Not only does Cheryl Beth have an enemy she doesn't need, she also has a motive for murder when Lustig is discovered hacked to death.


Fortunately for Cheryl Beth, there's at least one cop who refuses to regard her as a person of interest-or rather whose interest in her is altogether different. Will Borders likes smart, funny, candid Cheryl Beth a lot. Even more to the point, he's convinced the Lustig homicide bears the MO of a certain born-again serial killer. Now that he's been sidelined by spinal surgery, however, Will's sleuthing is confined to what he can do from a wheelchair until Cheryl Beth becomes his sleuthing partner and perhaps something more. Nicely done. Though she's a pain nurse, Cheryl Beth is a pleasure."


Meet Jon as he discuses this title at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jonathan Kellerman on Guitar

This last Monday we got Jonathan Kellerman to sit down and play a bit of lap guitar for us. The guitar was an original Weissenborn from 1920's which a customer had brought in and fortunately we were able to record the single, brief performance upload it here to the blog.


video

A bit of background: Jonathan Kellerman has his own impressive collection of antique guitars at home. He told us that Christie's Auction House, as well as staff at the local museum and university are periodically finding a need to come to his house and check them out. If you are interested in antique guitars you may like his book With Strings Attached which has photos galore as well as every spec on every guitar included.

The Kellerman's were greeted to The Pen on Monday night by a crowd big enough to give the fire marshall a moments pause. The webcast of them all chatting away can be seen at mogulus.com/poisonedpenauthorevent. A couple quotes you can pull from the event are below.

"Don't wait for the muse, that's the surest way to dry up the well"
-Jesse Kellerman

"A book is still a pretty cheap thrill"
-Jonathan Kellerman

About Face by Donna Leon

About Face by Donna Leon (Heinemann $42 Signed).

We're down to just 7 but the US edition is in (Grove $24)
Leon likes to fashion her plots of environmental or social concerns allied with political, both national and police issues. She's deeply cynical but clearly loves her adopted city (she's American). At issue in About Face is the toxic mess Italy suffers over garbage! it's one of those services always on strike. (Heinemann $42 Signed).
We're down to just 7 but the US edition is in (Grove $24).Leon likes to fashion her plots of environmental or social concerns allied with political, both national and police issues. She's deeply cynical but clearly loves her adopted city (she's American). At issue in About Face is the toxic mess Italy suffers over garbage! it's one of those services always on strike.
Enhance the experience with Brunetti's Venice: Walks with the City's Best-Loved Detective.($17) by Toni Sepeda.

Follow Commissario Guido Brunetti, star of Donna Leon’s internationally best-selling mystery series, on over a dozen walks that highlight Venice’s churches, markets, bars, cafes, and palazzos.

In Brunetti’s Venice, tourists and armchair travelers follow in the footsteps of Brunetti as he traverses the city he knows and loves. With his acute eye for change in his native city, his fascination with the past, his ear for language and his passion for food and drink, and his familiarity with the dark realities of crime and corruption, Brunetti is the perfect companion for any walk across La Serenissima. Over a dozen walks, encompassing all six regions of Venice as well as the lagoon, lead readers down calli, over canali, and through campi. Important locations from the best-selling novels are highlighted and major themes and characters are explored, all accompanied by poignant excerpts from the novels. This is a must-have companion book for any lover of Donna Leon’s wonderful mysteries.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A New Review From Karen

Ignatius, David. Increment.

Harry Pappas has been given the dubious assignment of determining whether or not a message from Iran is legitimate or bogus. He enlists a number of others, including Adrian King in Britain, to track down the sender and validate the information. The story takes the reader into a maze of conspiracy and distrust among the game players. They set out to find Al-Majnoun, thought to have died years ago and whose philosophy is "power was not what you did, but what people believed you did." As the search begins, Harry fights his own demons, skating in and out of government policies and personnel, to do what is right without demolishing the entire project. The author brings together contrasting characters on a common mission complicated by their equally contrasting methods. This is a great read that will keep you going until the end.

New Signed Books From The Poisoned Pen

Poisoning in the Pub By Simon Brett (MacMilliam $41Signed)

What's your poison? Fethering residents, Jude and Carole, get more than they bargained for when a lunchtime meal in their local pub leaves everyone with food poisoning. The landlord is horrified and when a series of disasters start to befall his business it looks like it could be the end of the road for the Crown and Anchor. Left with a bad taste in their mouths - and not just from the food - the two amateur detectives wonder if it might just be more than a run of bad luck, which is forcing their favorite pub into bankruptcy. When Ray, a young man with the mental age of a five year old, is found in the kitchen of the pub with a knife through his heart - Carole and Jude swing into action. There's a killer on the loose in Fethering and our lady sleuths need to uncover who it is before it's last orders for the pub - and themselves.

The Little Victim by
R. T. Raichev, (Constable $45 Signed).

This gem from the wildly inventive, eccentric, and amusing Raichev who's do
ing his own riff on the classic British mystery also arrived autographed by the author. Agatha Christie fans will find much to like but note that Raichev's clever books are character driven.



Dark Paradise by Lono Waiwaiole ((McMillan $35 Signed)

Mix two local boys who want to control the same drug trade on the Big Island of Hawai`i, throw in some Japanese and Mexican gangsters, add the biggest drug bust in the history of the island and what do you get? A Dark Paradise, indeed.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Jim Butcher Turn Coat Signed!


We have the new Jim Butcher Signed! Turn Coat (ROC $28)

Book 11 of The Dresden Files finds that the Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council-and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden...

Now, Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less-than-agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head-someone like Harry.

And
from Jim's webpage starting Feburary 10th, he'll be posting preview chapters of Turn Coat (five total). You can find the full text of the previews posted so far here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Signed Titles at The Poisoned Pen

In the Dark by Brian Freeman ($27 Signed) earned starred reviews from both PW and Booklist.



Two young lovers. A sultry summer night. One brutal, cold-blooded murder. In this stunning, atmospheric thriller, Brian Freeman takes you deep into Detective Jonathan Stride's complicated past. This title earned a starred review from PW and BookList.


Schemers by Bill Pronzini ($27 Signed)


Bill returns with A Nameless Detective Novel. This locked room mystery goes from stolen books to stolen lives and the hunt for a phantom stalker with a penchant for pouring acid to make his point give Nameless and his partner Jake more than enough work to earn their fees-as long as neither turns his back at the wrong moment.


Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker ($27 Signed)



A First Mystery Pick in the UK edition and a fabulous blend of Alexander McCall Smith with Peter Mayle, thus French. One of MM's favorites. This is the first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno-as he is affectionately nicknamed-may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police. Barbara reports that this was My Mother's favorite 2008 debut and is just pefect for those who like sly, cozy criimes that are not sappy!







Friday, April 3, 2009

These will soon be signed from the Poisoned Pen

Carol Higgins Clark signs Cursed ($25 ) on April 22

Cursed is number 12 in the Reagan Reilly Mysteries. It begi
ns on a cold and gray January morning. Sleet and snow are swirling as Regan arrives at a warehouse in Long Island City with a trunk full of her old case files from Los Angeles. After carting all her boxes into a storage unit, she heads back out into the snow, and her cell phone rings, leading Reagan to encounter a dangerous cast of characters.

Carol's famous mother in law, Mary Higgins Clark, joins her to sign a new book of her own
Just Take My Heart ($26 Signed)

In her new thriller, America's #1 bestselling Queen of Suspens
e delves into a legal battle over the guilt or innocence of a man accused of murdering his wife. Woven into her plot is an eerie, little-understood but documented medical phenomenon -- the emergence of a donor's traits and memories in the recipient of a heart transplant.Natalie Raines, one of Broadway's brightest stars, accidentally discovers who killed her former roommate and sets in motion a series of shocking events that puts more than one life in extreme peril...

Hannah Dennison will soon be at the store to talk about and sign her new mystery,

Scoop PBO ($7 Signed April 17).

Scoop is the new Vicky Hill a delightful new sleuth like no other...

Obit writer Vicky Hill suspects foul play when she learns of a suspicious death: a champion hedge cutter, electrocuted after accidentally slicing through a power cable. Yeah, right. To get the real story Vicky's willing to suffer through bad dates and mortal danger. Join us for afternoon tea on April 17 at 2 pm when Hannah signs her new book, Scoop and raffles off a basket of authentic British tea items. More to come...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

As dark forces challenge Edward II's throne. will the King Prevail?

The Darkening Glass
by Paul Doherty ($45 UK signed)

Mathilde of Westminster must face a dangerous foe in the third novel in Paul Doherty's acclaimed series. March 1312 and England is divided. Edward II is in conflict with his barons over royal favourite Gaveston, and Queen Isabella is momentously pregnant with the first union of Plantagenet and Capetian blood. Meanwhile, rebel Robert Bruce prowls the Scottish border seeking advancement. Mathilde of Westminster senses a challenge for the throne is imminent. When the great Earls step up their campaign, the King and Queen are forced to flee to a fortified priory in Tynemouth, now vulnerable to the Scottish marauders on land and Bruce's allies at sea. With threats all around, the royal party can only despair when one of their camp is murdered. Will Mathilde be able to find the perpetrator before the King loses control of the throne?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't Miss These New Signed Titles

She Shoots to Conquer an Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell ($27 signed)
On a dark and foggy night, charming amateur sleuth Ellie Haskell, her husband Ben, and her plucky sidekick Mrs. Malloy find themselves stranded at a grand estate on the Yorkshire moors. Lord Belfrey of Mucklesfeld Manor has decided to save his crumbling establishment by offering himself as the prize on a TV reality show titled “Here Comes the Bride.”Thrilled at the prospect of marrying a lord, Mrs. Malloy eagerly joins the competition. After one of the potential brides is shot during an archery contest, Ellie begins to explore the dark passageways and hidden nooks of the delightfully Gothic estate—but she may not be prepared for the secrets lurking behind closed doors

Long Lost the new Myron Bolitar from Harlan Coban ($29 signed)
Myron Bolitar hasn’t heard from Terese Collins since their torrid affair ended ten years ago, so her desperate phone call from Paris catches him completely off guard. In a shattering admission, Terese reveals the tragic story behind her disappearance—her struggles to get pregnant, the greatest moment of her life when her baby was born…and the fatal accident that robbed her of it all: her marriage, her happiness and her beloved only daughter.

Now a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband in Paris, Terese has nowhere else to turn for help. Myron heeds the call. But then a startling piece of evidence turns the entire case upside down, laying bare Terese’s long-buried family secrets…and the very real possibility that her daughter may still be alive.

In grave danger from unknown assailants in a country where nothing is as it seems, Myron and Terese race to stay a step ahead of Homeland Security, Interpol, and Mossad. Soon they are working at breakneck pace, not only to learn what really happened to Terese’s long-lost little girl— but to uncover a sinister plot with shocking global implications.

Dakota Cipher by William Dietrich ($28 signed)
William Dietrich is back with another fast-paced new adventure—one that brings together Norse mythology, the American wilderness, and a swashbuckling explorer in an irresistible page-turner.

Ethan Gage, the hero of Napoleon's Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, just wants to enjoy the fruits of victory after helping Napoleon win the Battle of Marengo and end an undeclared naval war with the United States.

But a foolish tryst with Bonaparte's married sister and the improbable schemes of a grizzled Norwegian named Magnus Bloodhammer soon send Ethan on a new treasure hunt on America's frontier that will have him dodging scheming aristocrats and hostile Indians.

In 1801 newly elected president Thomas Jefferson, taking office in the burgeoning capital of Washington, D.C., convinces Ethan and Magnus to go on a scouting expedition—one that precedes that of Lewis and Clark—to investigate reports of woolly mammoths and blue-eyed Indians.

The pair have their own motive, however, which they neglect to share with the president: a search for the mythical hammer of the Norse god Thor, allegedly brought by fugitive Norsemen to the center of North America 150 years before Columbus. Can the hammer control thunder and lightning? Is there a core of truth to this myth?

Ethan's journey takes him across the Great Lakes to country no white man has seen, but not before he becomes entangled with a British temptress, a comely captive, a French voyageur, and a landscape as breathtaking as it is perilous.

Ancient Norse runes will lead him to his most fantastic discovery yet—and to wonder, danger, mystery, and sorrow that will test every ounce of wit and skill Gage can muster. The Dakota Cipher is another exciting adventure by a writer who has quickly become one of America's most beloved and inventive thriller masterminds.

Trust Me by Peter Leonard ($27 signed)
Peter Leonard showed remarkable maturity for a first-time novelist in his debut novel Quiver. In Trust Me, he reaches for new heights as he crafts a classic noir thriller loaded with double- and triple-crosses.

The first mistake Karen Delaney made was entrusting $300,000 to her boyfriend, Samir, the head of an illegal bookmaking operation. The second was breaking up with him---because Samir holds a $300,000 grudge. A few months later, Karen sees a way to get her money back when two thieves break into her house in the middle of the night. She proposes a scheme to steal Samir’s safe, but Karen soon realizes she’s in way over her head as things begin to spin out of control.

Trust Me moves at breakneck speed through the affluent suburbs of Detroit and Chicago as Karen is pursued by O’Clair, an ex-con/ex-cop who works for Samir and wants the money for his own retirement; by Ricky, Samir’s nephew, who sees the money as a way to pay off his own escalating gambling debts; by the thieves who’ve been double-crossed; and by two ruthless hit men who view the money as their stake in the American dream.

With relentless suspense, striking characters, and plot twists that will leave you white-knuckled, Trust Me marks the continuation of a powerful new voice in crime fiction and more than delivers on the promise of Peter Leonard’s talent.

Schemers by Bill Pronzini ($27 signed)
A new Nameless Detective story from the 2008 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master...

A locked room mystery that goes from stolen books to stolen lives and the hunt for a phantom stalker with a penchant for pouring acid to make his point give Nameless and his partner Jake more than enough work to earn their fees—as long as neither turns his back at the wrong moment.

Nameless wasn’t supposed to come into the office on Mondays; he wasn’t supposed to answer the phone. On this Monday, he did both. The call was from Barney Rivera—once a friend, now despised—at Great Western Insurance. Against his better judgment, Nameless agreed to meet with him. The investigation was relatively simple: a multimillionaire rare books collector had reported the theft of eight volumes, worth a half million dollars. From a locked library. To which he has the only key. The books were all crime fiction and suspense--a locked room mystery about mysteries.

This ordinary Monday brought a second oddball case. The Henderson brothers were being stalked. Someone had dug up the ashes of their late father and poured acid over them, then destroyed the headstone the same way, and left a sign warning that this was just the beginning. Searching for peace of mind and the distraction of work, Jake Runyon is more than happy to bring an end to the brothers' terror.